Category Archives: DIY


DIY Modern Fall Wreath

October 5, 2017

Fall seems like the season we welcome folks into our homes. We’ve spent all Summer outdoors and now we are ready to snuggle up indoors for a while. A nice way to start this cooler season is to add a pretty handmade wreath to your door. A wreath on your door says that you are expecting folks to be arriving and you wanted friends and family to have a warm welcoming. This year I made this modern, two toned wreath for something a little different. Instead of traditional Fall leaves in browns and oranges, I decided that this was a pretty palette for Fall.

DIY Modern Fall Wreath

Fall is that transition season taking you from Summer to Winter, so this wreath has a nod to the season before and the season to come. Both boxwood and cotton grown here in Southern California, so I was able to do a little foraging for this project. And the nice thing about both of these materials is that they will dry and still stay beautiful for a long time. This idea of a two toned wreath could definitely be done with other greenery and leaves as well. Pinecones paired with Fall leaves could be very pretty.


A New Door for the Guesthouse

September 27, 2017

This is for my instagram friends, before I tell you about our FANTASTIC new door, just watch the video and you’ll find out what color I painted the inside of the door. I know the suspense is killing you.

It’s been a while since I shared an update on our little guesthouse. If you are new here, I’ll fill you in really quickly. We bought our house just over a year ago and one of the first projects we decided to take on was the little guesthouse attached to our garage. Our house was built-in 1918, and the guesthouse need A LOT of work. You can check out the bedroom and bathroom reveals for my details. But, we use the guesthouse for friends and family that come to visit and we also rent it out on airbnb as well.

Craftsman Door by JELD-WEN, installed by Home Depot

We did so much work on the space and we knew that the door needed to be replaced REALLY BADLY. The door was literally falling apart. All the glass panes were tilted and slanted to the side. There were 1 inch wide gaps at the top and bottom of the door that let in dust and bugs on a regular basis. We had replaced the handle and lock earlier in the year, but guests often struggled with the door still. After temps as high as 115 F this Summer, we realized that we just couldn’t keep the room cool. Heat just penetrated through the single pane glass on that door.

But, we just couldn’t work up the courage to take on this big project. If you know anything about old houses, you know that walls, floors and doorways are not always straight or level. In our last house, we replaced an exterior door ourselves and then had issues with it for years to come. And while we do DIY very often, we decided we wanted this project done RIGHT, so we called the experts at Home Depot.

Our house is a Craftsman house, so we really wanted to stay true to that style. Home Depot’s, JELD-WEN Steel Craftsman door seemed like the perfect fit for our house. It comes in 6 classic colors, we chose the crisp white. I love that this door still has some glass at the top, but also still provides privacy. One of the best features of our guesthouse is how bright and airy the space is. We didn’t want to take away all the natural light in that corner of the room.

Not only is this door extremely handsome, this steel door is strong and secure. We are so happy to have an energy efficient door. We’ve already saved in cooling bills and I’m sure we will save with heating this winter as well. This door glides open and shut with ease and seals almost airtight. With the old door, you could see light coming through on all sides, this door keeps the outside stuff outside, where it belongs.

We chose to hire the professionals. Bob + Andy from the Home Depot door installation team went above and beyond in installing our new door. Home Depot’s professional door installers are local, licensed, insured, and have undergone a thorough background-screening, so you can feel confident that you are getting reliable help. My installers took the time and care to remove all the original trim without damaging it and then replaced it like it had never been touched. They also had to cut new moldings for the outside of the door, and did an awesome job keeping with the style and era of the house. These guys worked long and hard. The installation took over 9 hours to do and it was 112 F here on the day they were here working on our guesthouse.

If you are the market for a new door, I would definitely recommend this JELD-WEN Steel Craftsman door and Home Depot installation.

Craftsman JELD-WEN door from Home Depot painted pink.

Oh, and I decided to have a little fun with the inside of the door and paint it a fun color. I polled folks on instagram and a pretty pale pink got over 80% of the votes. I have lots of touches of pink through the room already, and I might as well use this color while millennial pink is still a thing. To be 100% honest, I really just wanted to paint the inside black, like my kitchen door.

This post is sponsored by Home Depot, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


DIY City Market Bag

September 25, 2017

DIY City Tote Bag

Wanna be a hipster in your own town? Step One: carry a cool market tote bag stating where you live. I made a few bags with my home town, Bakersfield, California proudly stated on the side. Everyone is going to ask you about it and they are definitely going to want one. Which makes you hip, right? I firmly believe have have to love where you live and what better way to say it then to carry the name everywhere you go.

DIY City Market Bag

I started with a couple canvas totes and a tall burlap market bag, both of which I found on amazon (I’ll like them below in the supplies). Then you are going to need to decide what you want you bag to say. I played with two designs. The burlap bag is my copy-cat version of the Apolis market bags. The handle on the amazon one I found is definitely not as nice as the original, but my budget version is holding up pretty well so far. On the burlap bag I mimicked the Apolis font and spacing and on the canvas bags, I simply curved the lettering on the city and state and added a date to the center.

Then, using my new Silhouette Cameo machine, I cut out heat-transfer vinyl letters in a matter of minutes and adhered them to the bags. DONE! I just love a simple, customizable project like this. Each of these bags cost under $20 in supplies to make and they turned out looking like bags something you’d pay a lot more for. This is why we love to DIY, am I right?

DIY City, State, Country Market Tote BagDIY City, State, Country Market Bag

Here’s why I love the Silhouette Cameo – I don’t have to save my work as a jpeg or pdf and then upload it to a program and then cut away all the background. None of that! I can take any font/text or illustration directly from Adobe Illustrator right to the Silhouette software. One click from Ai and I’m ready to cut. Ya, it’s really that easy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

One of these bags:

Simply type out the text with your city, state and country. I used Adobe Illustrator, but you can use the silhouette software as well, make sure you reverse the image before cutting. This video tutorial was helpful. Then, using the Silhouette Cameo, cut out your text. Weed away all the excess vinyl, leaving just the text on the vinyl backing. Place the lettering on the bag where you want it positioned, then using an iron with no steam, adhere the vinyl to the bags.

I used the heat-transfer vinyl in black and white to create high-contrast lettering on the bags. I love how sharp the black bag with the white lettering looks.

I know that definitely not everyone owns a personal cutting machine, like a Cricut or Silhouette. But, for those of you that do, I think it’s fun to share some projects that you can make with your machine. But, if you are serious DIYer, I really do think you’d enjoy having a Silhouette Cameo.

A big thanks to Silhouette for providing me with a machine and play with. 


3 Ways to Hang a Poster

July 20, 2017

Ok, I am a mom of 2 teenagers, so I feel like I know a little bit about them (a very little bit). But, one thing I do know about teenagers is that they LOVE to change their minds, opinions, likes, and dislikes. So, when it comes to decorating a teenager’s bedroom, you have to be ready to make changes and lots of them. Posters are a great way to change up the decor in a big way and on a small budget. But, who wants a million tack holes and tape all over your walls? I’ve come up with 3 ways to hang a poster and not make a singer hole in the wall!

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

Ok, let’s start with the poster. Please try to say no to the Back Street Boys and Twilight Movie posters. Mixbook makes adding custom art to your home a breeze. You can even take pictures from your teenager’s phone and blow them up to poster size prints. When my father in law came to visit last month, he brought me bunches and bunches of peonies from his garden. I took some of pictures because they were so AMAZING! These peonies prints are going in my girl’s room (when we finally have a spare moment to work on that space). They are excited for a big splash of pink in their room. And because I love you guys, you get to download these peonies prints for free HEREThis is a limited time free download, so don’t mess around friends, download your copy now and head over to Mixbook and order yourself a poster print or three.

I am so impressed with these poster prints. They come in both glossy and matte, I ordered mine in the matte finish and they look amazing. The colors are bright and vibrant and it feels like the peonies are right there.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

Full disclosure, I have a secret weapon, 3M Command Strips. But, I wanted to use them in a way that would protect the poster and also allow you to change out the art without having to use a new set of Command Strips. I also think these 3 hanging methods actually add to the whole look of hanging a poster.

Here’s my 3 ways to hang a poster without putting any holes in the wall:


3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

This is my favorite look. It’s super clean and simple and the little wooden knobs are just perfectly cute.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

For this method you will need 4 sets of 1/2 inch ceramic magnets, 1 large 3M Command Strip, and 3/4 inch half round wooden balls. All of these supplies can be found at your local craft store. Start by cutting the Command Strip into 4 pieces. Then pair the magnets up and hot glue the wooden knob onto one of the magnets and adhere the velcro to the other magnet. Finally, you will adhere the other side of the Command Strip to the wall. The pair of magnets will keep the poster perfectly flat on all four corners.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download


I love the look of bull dog clips holding up posters. But, I struggled to find a way to attach them to the wall without having to nail them to the wall. So, I came up with a solution. These magnetic backed bull dog clips offer a flat surface to adhere a Command Strip to. I also clipped two more to the bottom of the poster to pull to tight against the wall so that it wouldn’t curl up.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

Just like with the wooden knob magnets, the poster is not damaged and you can change out the art very easily.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download


This third idea is the most versatile. Not only can you hang a poster, but you can also add other pieces of art as well. I simply painted a 1 yard measuring stick a dark maroon color and then hot glued on clothes pegs every 3 inches.  Then using 2 Command Strips, I adhered the strip to the wall.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

And as a little bonus for my daughters, I made a simple little message board for them using a framed 8×10 print.

3 Ways to Hang a Poster and Free Peonies Print Download

This post is sponsored by Mixbook, thank you supporting the awesome companies that help make this blog possible. 



Step Stool Turned Plant Stand

July 18, 2017

I’m pretty sure that almost everyone I know owns this IKEA Bekvam step stool, especially if you have toddlers. We are definitely out of the toddler stage and everyone in our house can reach the sink faucets without a step stool. So, I’m giving this step stool a little makeover and a new purpose. I’m turning this step stool into a little plant stand for all my plant babies.

I’m excited to be joining the ‘Make It Martha’ blogger program. As a long time Martha Stewart fan, I’m excited to be sharing here on Oleander + Palm some fun DIYs using Martha’s awesome new line of craft supplies available at Michael’s.

For this first project, I’m using Martha’s all-new line of Home Decor Paint. These paints come in all the perfect Martha Steward shades and are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. This water-based paint is fade resistant and lends a lovely eggshell finish to the surface. I chose the color Trellis for a perfectly minty/jadite light green.

Here is the before. Our stool has been used for quite few years and definitely was in need of some love.

Can you see how scuffed up and old and yucky this stool is.  No lie at all, I put only ONE coat of this paint on this stool. That is amazing. It went on like butter and laid flat and smooth.

I also thought it would be fun to add a little clever customized saying to one of the pots. I used Martha Stewart Crafts Typewriter Adhesive Stencils to spell out “Water Me” and then simply stenciled on the saying with Lava Stone Grey Home Decor Paint with a Foam Pouncer. While the paint was still dry, I pealed off the reusable stencils.

I can think of quite a few pieces of furniture that could use a quick coat of paint. I love this new Home Decor Paint line.


Adding Personality to a Kitchen

June 14, 2017

We’re creeping close to being in our new house a whole year now! Wow, how did that happen? I really thought I would have a lot more done around here. But, man do we love this house, even though there is still lots of unfinished projects. Really, I’m a firm believer in loving where you live NOW, not when everything is finished and renovated. I think little changes and additions can really make a difference. I spend more time in our kitchen then any other room in our house and I don’t think I’ve shared a single picture of that room here on the blog. So, today I’m sharing pictures of our kitchen.

While I’d love love love to change the counter tops, re-tile the floors and repaint the cupboards, that’s just not in the cards yet. So, I’m giving this space a little attention with a few accessories and some inexpensive art. And I really love making things versus buying things for my home. I’ve teamed up with Mixbook again to come up with some fun DIY art for my kitchen.And while I am not an artist by any means, or even very skilled with watercolor paints, I had a lot of fun doodling with watercolors. Be sure to check out the Bathroom Art and California Wildflowers Canvases I made with Mixbook as well. They have so many great products for customizing art for your home.

Kitchens can be tricky rooms to decorate. They really don’t offer to much wall space and it is a space that needs to be “usable”. Real work and messes are made here, so too many cute objects and accessories can get in the way. So here’s a few things I’m doing to make this space our own without spending a ton of money or diving into a big renovation just yet.

  1.  There’s not a lot wall space, but I felt like I needed to find a way to break up all the cream cabinets and cream walls and cream trim. I started by making some really simple watercolor art pieces. And ya, if you like them also, you can download them for yourself HERE. I printed these 11×14 images with Mixbook .Their Poster Prints are high-quality large format photo prints that are really easy on the budget. They start at just $7.99 each and they come as big as 24×36. They also come in a glossy or matte finish. I chose matte for these watercolors.
  2.  The next change I made was a painted our back door black. It needed to be painted and I decided to take a little risk and try something different from all the cream paint color. The black made all the difference. It’s now the star of them room.
  3. The counter tops could definitely be worse. Really my least favorite part of them is the grout. I feel like i’m cleaning it all the time. I’m really not a huge fan of cluttered countertops. But some pretty plants, fresh flowers, and some a few favorite pieces help disguise the very busy backsplash (which I’m not a huge fan of). Leaning cutting boards and framed art in strategic places gives me little moments and memories to enjoy as a work in the kitchen.

This is post is sponsored by Mixbook. Thanks for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.


The Chlorophyll Wall

May 18, 2017

You know, somedays I love my job more then others. I have a great job, but this weekend was really SO MUCH FUN! For a couple months now, I have been planning and prepping for this project – The Chlorophyll Wall. I’ve been wanting to find a way that I could collaborate with my husband (the biology nerd) and his students. So, with The Bakersfield High School Ecology club as the man power and 17th Place Townhomes providing us a space, we teamed up with Sherwin-Williams for National Painting Week to bring a little green to our downtown.

I put together a little video to show you a little of the behind the scene fun.

If you have followed me for a while, you’ll know that my family loves living downtown Bakersfield. We work, live and play all in about a 1 square mile radius. We love our little community and are always looking for ways that we can help it grow and improve.  We also wanted to get students involved so that they would feel a little ownership and pride for their hometown. Adding a little color to our downtown was an idea I’ve had for a while now. Selfishly I chose the color green, because it’s my favorite color. Chlorophyll is the life giving force behind plants, our hope is to bring a little of that natural fuel to downtown Bakersfield. We chose 8 native plants from this area. Using the ColorSnap App by Sherwin-Williams, we picked 8 shades of green to represent those plants. You simply upload an image to the app and it picks Sherwin-Williams paint colors in the image.

My local Sherwin-Williams store provided all the paint and even sent a crew out to help us. They gave the kids great painting tips and were such a pleasure to partner with. 

Here’s the colors we used and the plants that inspired those color selections we used:

  • Bakersfield Cactus – Courtyard SW 6440
  • Green Palo Verde – Dill SW 6438
  • Valley Live Oak – Billiard Green SW 0016
  • Manzanita – Agate Green SW7742
  • Joshua Tree – Shamrock SW 6454
  • Lichen – Talipot Palm SW 6726
  • Willow – Arugula SW 6446
  • California Poppy – Picnic SW 6731

These kids were amazing! They worked so hard and did an excellent job. I’m a very picky painter and these kids were all about quality work. The taped, they rolled, they brushed and they cleaned. While is was work, it was also a really great day spent together. If you are in Bakersfield, be sure to stop by the wall and take a picture. It’s located in between 17th and 18th St. on N St. Use the hashtag, #chlorophyllwall, we want to see your pics. And now we are ready to take on another wall!

Photo Credit: Ally Swen Photography



DIY Living Wall with Moveable Planters

May 1, 2017

Sometimes you just need a little privacy in your outdoor areas. As you know we recently converted a small unit attached to our garage into a guesthouse that we are using as an Airbnb.  We wanted to create a little outdoor seating area for guests that was a little more private and secluded. So, a DIY Living Wall with Moveable Planters seemed like that best idea. It’s a great way to add even more green to a space. And in a tight space, going vertical is the perfect solution.

Vertical Living Wall with Moveable PlantersVertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters Vertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters

I teamed up with my brother Joash (aka super handy, carpenter guy) and Fiskars (because they are the garden tool experts) to dream up an easy-to-build, yet totally stylish modern living wall. We designed it with simple, inexpensive materials, and simple cuts and assembly. No fancy hooks or hardware is needed. Using a simple cleat system, the planters can easily be moved around, repositioned and hung of either side of the wall.

Vertical Living Wall with Moveable PlantersVertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters

I am including a pattern with all the dimensions to help you visualize all the cuts and pieces for this project. We used inexpensive pine and just sealed it with an outdoor sealer to protect it from the elements. But this could be painted or stained, we just loved to Scandinavian feel of light wood. Bold black planters paired with the light wood created a nice contrast.

Start by glueing and screwing the frame of the wall together first. Pre-drill and attach ‘B’ to ‘A’ and then screw both pieces of ‘a’ to the top and bottom. Use the 2″ screws for assembling the frame.

Next attach ‘C’ in the center of both sides. Use the 1-1/4″ screws to attach these supports.

For the horizontal slats, you will need to cut the 1×4″ pieces cut down the center at a 45 degree angle using a table saw. You will need 22 total, each 5 ft. long. Space these slats 6 inches apart from each other. Pre-drill with a counter sink bit, and attach them to the frame with 1-1/4″ screws, 6 screws for each slat. Screw two in the center and two on each end of the slat.

Vertical Living Wall with Moveable PlantersVertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters

Now you will attach cleats to plastic planters. I chose to use inexpensive black plastic window box lines because I loved their simplicity and clean lines.

Cut extra lengths of the 45 degree angle slats. These will be cut the lengths of the plants that attached to backs in the opposite direction.  Pre-drill the holes, starting 2 inches from the edge and spacing the screws no more then 6 inches apart.

Pre-drill holes in the plastic planters as well. Then using a 1-1/4″ screw and a washer, attach a cleat to the back of every planter.

The cleats fit seamlessly on the wall. The weight of the planter holds them in place and there is no worry of them slipping off.

And there is no clunky hardware or hooks, the planters even look great from the back.

Vertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters

The planters can easily be take down to water, plant, prune or weed.

Vertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters

I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this living wall. I’m excited to play with more plants and figure out what will grow best in the vertical garden. It’s also has created a great little outdoor getaway spot for my guests.

Vertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters Vertical Living Wall with Moveable PlantersVertical Living Wall with Moveable Planters

I teamed up with Fiskars to create this fun project. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


California Wildflower Art for Mother’s Day

April 25, 2017

Mother’s day is just around the corner. And if I know moms, there are a couple of gifts that are always winners – flowers and pictures of their grandkids. This year I’m giving both. California is finally out of it’s long draught and we have the most amazing wildflowers this year. I don’t want these pretty images just living on my camera or laptop. I want to be able to enjoy these colorful hillsides all year round. So, I’m gifting some of the wildflower pictures I took a couple weeks ago to my mom and mother-in-law this year.

I’ve teamed up with Mixbook again to bring you another FREE Download and a really awesome discount for Oleander + Palm readers. You guys – keep reading because you all get 60% off coupon code!  Last month I tried out their sleek, modern Acrylic Prints. For Mother’s Day I felt like something a little more classic, like a Framed Canvas Print, would be better for moms. And these canvases are soooo pretty. I’m going to have a hard time giving them away.
I love modern framed canvas prints like these for styling and decorating a bookshelf. With their clean, straight-edged frames, they can easily sit on a shelf. Mixbook offers three frame options for their canvas prints – white, black and espresso. You can also order a canvas print without a frame, but I think the frame instantly elevates the look.
You can download this FREE California Wildflower image HERE! Feel free to print it on a canvas or upload one of your own awesome snaps. While we are here chatting about art on a bookshelf, I thought I’d share a few tips for styling a good looking #shelfie. I started with a very inexpensive, industrial/storage style shelf. And with the right items, place in the right stops, it looks nice enough for a living room.

1. Start with big and bulky items on the bottom of the shelf. If you are going to store items in baskets or bins, visually these items feel more balanced if they are placed on the bottom shelves. Also, you really don’t want to be lifting heavier items off and on a top shelf, I would just feel awkward. So, I started with a cute metal basket, filled with pillows and a throw for easy access.

2. Next, place art pieces on the shelves. I chose to place the field of flowers canvas on the highest shelf, it is definitely above my eye level, but this image is less of a detail shot and can be enjoyed from a distance. The cute picture of Olivia sitting in the flowers is one I want to see a little more up close, so I place it on the middle shelf. This shelf is closer to eye level. Art can be hung on the wall behind the shelf, leaned against the back, or sat upright like these cool framed canvases.

3. Think horizontal next. Obviously I don’t have a lot of books on this bookshelf, but they still are an important part of styling this shelf. Instead of placing books upright with their spines facing out. Try creating little stacks of books for horizontal interest. Think of these stacks as little risers for pretty objects.

4. Play with height and depth. On any self, you don’t want all the objects to be the same height. Place shorter objects on the stacks of books to give them a little lift. Try to place objects, that are on the same shelf, all at different heights. Also push taller, bulkier items further to the back of the shelf and layer in shorter, more petite items near the front. It’s ok to overlap items. You don’t want everything all lined up in a row.

5. Finally, add a little metallic. We’ve played with shapes and colors, now it’s time to think about texture. And a shiny metallic finish can really be the jewelry for a good looking shelfie. I chose to sprinkle in a few shiny brass pieces. I added a little metal calendar to the top shelf, a brass box to the middle, and a vintage candle holder near the bottom.And what’s a Mother’s Day gift without a thoughtful card (another thing moms are guaranteed to love)? Did you know that Mixbook also has an awesome selection of Mother’s Day Cards, cards for all occasions and even invitations? I made custom cards for the moms in my life with a few of the pretty wildflower images.You can even add custom text and pictures to the inside of the cards as well. I added one more shot of Olivia to the inside.Add don’t forget, Mixbook has an AMAZING discount for Oleander + Palm readers. You guys get 60% Canvas Prints!!!!!! Just enter the code OP60 (offer good until 5/10). But don’t just check out their gorgeous canvas prints, be sure to check out their calendars, photobooks, cards, prints in every size and shape, acrylic prints, metal prints and so much more.This post is sponsored by Mixbook. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.


DIY Filing Cabinet Planter

February 23, 2017

DIY Filing Cabinet Planter - convert an old filing cabinet into a sleek, modern planter.

If you didn’t already know, Pinterest is full of great ideas – like nifty DIY Filing Cabinet Planters! I love a good DIY that recycles junk and old furniture. With a few simple steps, I converted a thrift store filing cabinet into this modern, sleek planter. You can check out the full how-to for this DIY Filing Cabinet Planter over on Fiskar’s blog.

We chose to plant some really cool cacti in this cool planter (gloves were 100% necessary).  But, this kind of planter would be great for herbs and flowers as well. We have this planter along side out garage, but with the big industrial castors I added, it can easily be moved around the yard.

DIY Filing Cabinet Planter - convert an old filing cabinet into a sleek, modern planter.

I also played around adding a little pattern to the sides of the planter with some simple vinyl half circles in white and gold. I like the option of being about to remove the pattern if I wanted a cleaner, simpler, all-black look later.

DIY Filing Cabinet Planter - convert an old filing cabinet into a sleek, modern planter. DIY Filing Cabinet Planter - convert an old filing cabinet into a sleek, modern planter.

The warmer weather is definitely welcome here. We are enjoying living more and more of our days outside. This is our first Spring in this house, so it’s been fun to plant new plants and plan out the outdoor space a little as well. Here’s hoping Spring is headed your way as well.

DIY Filing Cabinet Planter - convert an old filing cabinet into a sleek, modern planter.

This post is sponsored by Fiskars. Thank you for supporting the company that help make this blog possible.